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The Golden Age of Television - Criterion Takes Us Back to the '50s with 8 Classic Kinescopes

3-disc set includes No Time for Sergeants, Requiem for a Heavyweight and more!

Posted by David Lambert
    The hugely popular live American television plays of the 1950s have become the stuff of legend. Combining elements of theater, radio, and filmmaking, they were produced at a moment when TV technology was advancing and making art accessible to a newly suburban postwar demographic. These astonishingly choreographed, brilliantly acted, and socially progressive "teleplays" constituted an artistic high for the medium, bringing Broadway-quality drama to homes across the country.

    The following award-winning programs - curated for PBS in the early 1980s as the series THE GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION with recollections from key cast and crew members - were conceived by such up-and-comers as Rod Serling and John Frankenheimer, and star the likes of Paul Newman, Mickey Rooney, Rod Steiger, Julie Harris, and Piper Laurie.
The Criterion Collection and distributor Image Entertainment have announced a DVD release of The Golden Age of Television, the 1981 PBS series which served as both documentary about and collection of some of the classic works shown on TV in the 1950s. This 3-disc set running 478 minutes is presented in the original black-and-white full screen video, with English mono audio, and includes the following content:
  • The live kinescope broadcast of Marty (1953)
  • The live kinescope broadcast of Patterns (1955)
  • The live kinescope broadcast of No Time for Sergeants (1955)
  • The live kinescope broadcast of A Wind from the South (1955)
  • The live kinescope broadcast of Requiem for a Heavyweight (1956)
  • The live kinescope broadcast of Bang the Drum Slowly (1956)
  • The live kinescope broadcast of The Comedian (1957)
  • The live kinescope broadcast of Days of Wine and Roses (1958)
  • Commentaries by John Frankenheimer, Delbert Mann, Ralph Nelson, and Petrie
  • Interviews with select cast and crew
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by curator Ron Simon
The cost is $49.95 SRP, and the release date is November 24th. Here's a look at the box cover:

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The Golden Age of Television
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